The next time you’re making something – a quilt, a stuffed animal, a dress – and you’re stressing out about a place where your seams don’t line up, or a little pucker in the sewing, or eyes that aren’t exactly level, stop.
Stop and take a deep breath.
Remember why you’re making what you’re making.
If it’s for a show and you really, really, really want to win a ribbon – well, you really do need to stress about those tiny details. Sorry. (I don’t do that any more and that decision makes me happy every day.)
If it’s for any other reason – relax.
No one else will ever look at your work as critically as you do.
Not only will your best friend not care that that seam intersection is off by 1/8″ – she won’t even notice. She’ll be touched that you put so much time and love into something made especially for her. Look! You used all of her favorite colors! Even orange, and she knows you hate orange.
Your granddaughter will not notice that there’s a little pucker where you attached the sleeve to the dress for her doll. It’s under the doll’s arm, for Pete’s sake! And she’s too busy putting the dress on and taking it off for the hundredth time.
Your son will not notice that the eyes on his new teddy bear are a little crooked. He’ll be too busy hugging it close.
So really think about all the “mistakes” you see.
Will it interfere with all the love the recipient wants to give it?
If you wobbled and have a spot where there’s practically no seam allowance on your quilt and you’re worried the seam will pop the first time it’s washed – fix it. If you used the wrong seam allowance sewing the doll dress and now the sleeves won’t fit over the hands – fix it. If an eyeball is loose on the teddy bear and in danger of popping off and inspiring nightmares – fix it.
If it’s anything else – all those little things only you will notice – then let it go.
Which would you rather receive? A gift made with love? Or a gift made with stress, swearing and sweat?
I thought so. 🙂
Thank you for those lovely thoughts.
I’ll take the love anytime
And give it too!
By the way , your video tutorials are great
to learn with and your abiding gentleness
Thanks so much! 🙂
Thanks I needed that. I am such a perfectionist with myself. I usually put things away and come back later to them when they just don’t come out the way I think they should. I am still learning to quilt, by hand, and when I see the beautiful pictures of other quilters a cringe at mine and want to rip it all out. I need to reread this post when that happens. Thanks again.
I am especially sad about the quilt I never got eight years ago. I think a friend was trying to make it too perfect while she was busy supporting me in other ways after my daughter arrived very early. I really only heard the details about two years ago but never really got to the bottom of it.
I love your attitude, Wendi! Your patterns and video instructions are so clear. I’m having fun working on the starry night quilt right now. Recently did a first machine sewing project with a granddaughter and made one of the rabbit kits you sell – with some help she did it and was so pleased.
Thanks so much! 🙂
Wait – there’s a starry night quilt? Link please!!
It was originally a block of the month pattern and I’ve pulled it to reformat it as a regular pattern. It’ll be back soon! Keep an eye on the blog and/or newsletter for an announcement. 🙂
Thank you for this! I have only been sewing for the past year or so and I can be very critical of my work. I needed this reminder as I work on a quilt for my husband.
This could not have come at a better time! Saturday, I took a beginning quilting class at a local quilt shop. There was quite an emphasis on the perfect quarter inch seam. And it should be just a thread less than that or your quilt will not go together correctly! I was quite intimidated. Thank you for the reminder!
Some quilt designs really are that fussy – but not anywhere near all of them and not the kind I design. 🙂
Thank you so much for this reminder. I really need to remember this because i am very critical of my own work. I know that nothing is perfect but sometimes i forget that. I have this sign “Only God is perfect, my quilts don’t have to be” hanging in my sewing room but i still forget sometimes.
SO cute! Where can I find this pattern for my granddaughter that loves cats? TIA
I’m so glad you like it! You can find the pattern at http://wendigratz.wpengine.com/store/products/cats-quilt-pattern. Happy quilting! 🙂
Wow…you’re talking to me. I just did a little penguin and I was taking the stitches out and sewing it….again. Even after it was done, all I saw were my mistakes. I was doing it for fun. I have to remind myself of that. Thank you. 🙂
Just what everyone needs ~ words of encouragement from someone who so obviously loves what she is doing. Thank you.
PS I have YET to start my quilt as I am too busy deliberating over photos for photo books for my last 4 grandchildren (I have already done one each for the first 4) … and this is a GOOD REMINDER to focus on the now and not beat myself up for not getting EVERYTHING done perfectly and instantly!!!!
Thank you for the lovely reminder. I spent time in Joanns on Saturday getting fabric for a quilt that when I got home I hated it. It’s not that it won’t go together or will look bad, it’s totally stress about what others will think of my choices because my choices aren’t solids, but rather tone on tone large print.
Not that it matters (because it’s YOUR quilt) but I love tone on tone large prints. 🙂